BP Says Work to Contain Leaks Is Progressing

BP officials hope for better weather today as they continue their efforts to plug three oil leaks at a blown-out wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico. Jack Williams has an update.

The company hopes to have a containment device ready to deploy over the next week that could help siphon a lot of the leaking oil to the surface and onto a ship. This is BP's Doug Suttles.

"The containment system is designed and placed over the leak sources and allows us to collect the oil, funnel it up through a series of pipe work to a drill ship called the "Enterprise" on the surface. We've been fabricating the containment chamber. We will load that on a ship along with other associated equipment and begin transporting that to the sight. So over the next seven days or so we'll be actually trying to connect all these pieces up and starting up that system."  

In the meantime, BP is using an oil dispersant at the wellhead to try to break-up the oil before it reaches the surface. The company has also started the process of drilling at least two relief wells.

"Which is to drill down to approximately 18,000 feet and inject basically heavy drilling fluids and ultimately cement to stop the flow of oil and gas to the surface."

Suttles says 9 underwater robots are working at the bottom of the ocean and could have one of the three leaks plugged within a few days.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...